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Gossip Column: Phil Hellmuth Makes Incredible Comeback to Win Round 1 of High Stakes Duel Against Daniel Negreanu

Gossip Column
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  • Attreyee Khasnabis April 1, 2021
  • 4 Minutes Read

March 31 was the D-day that the entire poker community was waiting for! The ultimate heads-up match between two of world poker’s greatest superstars, Phil Hellmuth and Daniel Negreanu played out at the PokerGO Studio in Las Vegas, and the action didn’t disappoint.

Round 1 of the $50,000 entry buy-in High Stakes Duel II kicked off at 8 PM (ET) on Wednesday and was streamed exclusively on PokerGo.

While both the players are poker legends in their own right, Negreanu was the hot favorite in the match, with PokerShares putting him at -153 to win. Kid Poker was riding high on confidence at the start of the match, and in the Twitter exchange between the duo, he had warned Hellmuth of a five-round knockout. Alas! It wasn’t meant to be, and Negreanu ended up having to eat his own words.

Hellmuth proved once again why he is one of the winningest players of all times as he made a jaw-dropping comeback from a 19:1 chip deficit to win Round 1 of the High Stakes Duel II for $100K!


Hellmuth vs. Negreanu: High Stakes Duel II Round 1

The match started out with both players receiving 50,000 in chips, with the initial blinds set at 50/100. The format of the match was a sit n go style heads-up.

The GGPoker Ambassador was quick to take the lead. While he did not win many big pots, he still managed to dominate the Poker Brat for the majority of the almost six-hour-long match.

Daniel Negreanu from High Stakes Duel II on PokerGO.com
Daniel Negreanu from High Stakes Duel II on PokerGO.com


Hellmuth managed to avoid a few big disasters throughout the early stages, possibly helping him stay alive in the game. One of the earlier disasters that he avoided happened when he 3-bet king-nine preflop. He folded after Negreanu 4-bet with his pocket aces.

It was 90 minutes into the match when Hellmuth had one of his infamous blow-ups. He 3-bet with pocket jacks, and Negreanu called with king-nine suited. The latter flipped a king on the flop and went on to win the 20,800 pot. This eventually led to a Hellmuth meltdown, who angrily stood up from his chair. He called Negreanu an idiot for calling his 3-bet. For the next three hands, Hellmuth kept walking around the PokerGo studio, mumbling to himself.

Phil Hellmuth from High Stakes Duel II on PokerGO.com
Phil Hellmuth from High Stakes Duel II on PokerGO.com


By the time three hours of play had been completed, Negreanu was firmly in the driver’s seat. He held a commanding 19-1 lead over Hellmuth, with the latter down to 5,000 in chips. Not one to give up, Hellmuth rallied back, and within the next hour, he had whisked the chip lead away from Negreanu.

On the final hand of Round 1, Hellmuth was sitting on a 6-1 chip advantage. He found the perfect opportunity to trap after limping on the button with pocket nines. Much to his delight, Negreanu called with his last 15,000, holding six-seven. Hellmuth snap-called to see the flop open 8-5-J. Negreanu had the outs for a straight flush, but Hellmuth was still in the lead with his pocket pair. The turn (black king) and river (black 8) bricked for Negreanu, declaring Hellmuth as the winner of Round 1.

You can watch the first 30 minutes of the match below.

Negreanu tweeted an update congratulating Hellmuth on the victory.

Hellmuth’s victory gave his fans a lot to cheer about.

As per the match’s rules, the winner cannot cash out until after Round 3. Negreanu might have lost Round 1, but he has already confirmed his intentions for a comeback in Round 2. Only this time, Negreanu will have to fork out $100,000 for a shot at redemption!

The date for Round 2 is yet to be announced. Keep following PokerGuru for all the updates!

Cover Image Courtesy: PokerGO.com

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